Monday, April 30, 2012

Z: Scalzi

Wow, Z, am I glad to see you. I wasn’t sure I would make it all the way through the challenge, but here we are!

I’ll have to cheat for the last day. Otherwise my only option is Zucchini Warriors, a book I last read in the fourth grade. So, I’ll write about John ScalZi (no, he doesn’t spell it with a random capital in the middle). More specifically,

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Genre: Science fiction

I can’t top the publisher’s description: John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce--and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger.

When I read Old Man’s War, I had this strange feeling of delight, and it took a while to recognize it as fulfilled nostalgia. I read books like this as a kid – moon bases, life on Mars, space expeditions using telepathic twins for communication, space battles against aliens, etc. I’m guessing they were written in the forties and fifties, before the average person realized how alone we are in our solar system. These books went out of style as hard science and reality pushed out the entertainment factor, but they’ve made a comeback, and they’re even better now, without the racism/sexism of books written in previous decades.

And that's it for Z! ~breathes sigh of relief~


  1. Haven't read that one yet, but it sounds great! Thanks for a great A-Z and congrats on making it to the finish line.

  2. I was also very happy to see today finally arrive! It's been a challenge for sure! I haven't read this book, but it sounds fun.

    Congrats on making it to the end!

  3. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I'm impressed!

  4. Hi there! Yay for making it through A to Z! I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster blog award. I hope it'll send more people your way, because you deserve it! :)